Author Topic: Repair or replace commuter bike  (Read 3006 times)

Baron235

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Repair or replace commuter bike
« on: March 23, 2015, 06:39:25 AM »
My derailleur broke on my 3 year old commuter bike.  It snapped into my wheel breaking a few spokes as well.  Here are the numbers:

Bike cost $350 or so 3 years ago.
Repairs:  $25 new derailleur, $20 new spokes, $20 new chain (my chain is starting to rust), $20 for another component on the derailleur (the guy I was talking to showed me the part), $15 new cables. 

Additionally, he recommends an $85 tune up with this because that would cover the install of the new parts and my bike is rough shape (the wheels need to be trued up).

Also, the guy said the spokes may not fix the wheel issue and I may need a new wheel which could add $80 onto it.

I also probably need new break pads.

With that in mind, what do you think I should do?  Buy a bike around the $350 to $400 price range or do the $200 repairs or a limited repair of just the derailer and spokes?


Rollin

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Re: Repair or replace commuter bike
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2015, 06:50:42 AM »
That's a tough one.  To start those prices are good, as most shops would charge more than the $85 for those things and the cost of the parts is also good.  I guess what comes to mind for me is have the bikes improved enough in the 3 years that you would end up with a much better bike for that $400 (plus tax).  What are your needs?  Are they being met by the current bike?

I would think that investing $200 in a 3 year old bike is a better value, as if minimally maintained they should last for many many years.  Most people I see "upgrade" rather than replace worn out stuff.  If the bike you have is a rust bucket already then I might upgrade.  Since we are on the MMM site though I'd say fix it!

vhalros

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Re: Repair or replace commuter bike
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2015, 07:14:04 AM »
If it is is in otherwise good condition, $200 is probably the cheapest path to a functional bicycle. Most of those things are fairly easy to do yourself, if in the future you want to learn to do that (a bit overwhelming to learn it all at once now!). You are getting a very good rate if he is charging you only $85 for the labor though.

Bikes have improved at best marginally over 3 years, so you are not going to get anything special by going for a newer model.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2015, 07:18:25 AM by vhalros »

StarswirlTheMustached

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Re: Repair or replace commuter bike
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2015, 07:14:34 AM »
A bike is not a computer. Except on the very, very high end (think 2000$, not 200$) you're not going to see much improvement from year-to-year. Unless there's a specific lack in your existing bike you wish to address, and feel you can inside your budget, why bother?

Example: maybe it's a mountain bike and you feel you need taller gears for your commute; then a road bike might be worth thinking about. If it's just to buy a newer version of what you've got? Facepunch!

infogoon

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Re: Repair or replace commuter bike
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2015, 07:20:43 AM »
Remember that a new bike is also going to get you new tires, brake pads, and other consumables. Is any of that stuff due for replacement?

This is a good time of year to look at replacement, especially if you're a particularly tall or short rider; most of the manufacturers are getting rid of their inventory from last model year, and the bikes that are left tend to be the outlying sizes.

3okirb

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Re: Repair or replace commuter bike
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2015, 07:22:04 AM »
Have you checked Craigslist?  It might turn up a good deal that'll solve your problems.

spokey doke

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Re: Repair or replace commuter bike
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2015, 08:07:10 AM »
A bike is not a computer. Except on the very, very high end (think 2000$, not 200$) you're not going to see much improvement from year-to-year. Unless there's a specific lack in your existing bike you wish to address, and feel you can inside your budget, why bother?


+1, and you need to know a bunch about what you are getting (frame and component quality) to be able to make apples to apples comparisons on just how a new bike stacks up with the old one.

Bikes do require ongoing costs, and while your situation is unfortunate, sh!t happens.  If you can find a really good deal on another bike (AND get money out of this one - a big consideration), go for it.  Otherwise I'd get it repaired and start learning to maintain it yourself.  Also don't leave it out in the rain and REGULARLY lube the chain and wipe the chain down with a rag--step 1 toward bike liberation.

FLBiker

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Re: Repair or replace commuter bike
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2015, 10:01:43 AM »
I just broke my rear axle, and I also had a broken tooth on my freewheel and a rusty (and stretched) chain.  I got these three things replaced (w/ a tune-up) for ~$90.  I've done similar repairs a couple of other times over the past 7 years.

My bike cost ~$250 7 years ago.  I keep thinking I'll replace it, but I have no good reason too.  Personally, my commuter of choice is an aluminum frame MTB with no suspension.  Like others have said, it's not like the tech on these has changed.

NoraLenderbee

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Re: Repair or replace commuter bike
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2015, 06:19:39 PM »
Brake pads and chains are consumables--they wear out from normal use and have to be replaced. Cables, too. If the bike fits you and you like it, I'd keep it.
If the derailleur went into the spokes and then broke, it's possible that the limit screw wasn't adjusted right, or that the derailleur hanger isn't straight. The mech should check the hanger alignment.
If the derailleur broke, and then the pieces went into the spokes, I wonder if something happened to it (got bent or cracked when the bike fell over?). Ders don't break apart very often.

Cinder

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Re: Repair or replace commuter bike
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2015, 07:33:16 PM »
If the derailleur went into the spokes and then broke, it's possible that the limit screw wasn't adjusted right, or that the derailleur hanger isn't straight. The mech should check the hanger alignment.
If the derailleur broke, and then the pieces went into the spokes, I wonder if something happened to it (got bent or cracked when the bike fell over?). Ders don't break apart very often.

My local bike shop guy gave my bike a look over, and my mtn bike has this same potential problem.  Some derailleurís default position is fully extended in toward the spokes instead of away from them.  He pointed out the potential disastrous failure case, and mentioned that they don't make them like that anymore for that same reason.